Trees stand their ground

    Trees stand their ground whatever the weather. Overladen with snow. Chilled to the sap, the pith frozen and aching, trees do not withdraw their roots, fold them and then move to a different clime. They stand. Is this what duty is to trees? Pumping out oxygen so that we  breathe it in and…

Vegas and over-extension of the flank

  We arrived at Las Vegas after a journey that took in Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Panglitch & Zion. Zion was a different kind of place from Monument Valley or Bryce Canyon. The river, Virgin, was only at the start of its task to cut into the sandstone, gouging a canyon of the stature of…

Buttes, Mesas, Pillars and Time

I've been reading Eugene Minkowski's Lived Time. His preoccupation is with the structure of psychopathology as far as it concerns the experience of time. He does have novel ideas especially about future orientation or what he calls the future horizon. He makes the point that Desire, Hope and Prayer are future orientated. In melancholia, desire…

Verbal hallucinations

  I have just returned from Nice. European Psychiatrists were gathered together for 4 days talking about the issues that most concern us. At the heart of psychiatry is a concern for the individual who is in distress. The distress is subjectively experienced and has to be communicated in words, in language, in the main.…

Late Summer in Sussex

Late August 2009 we returned from Glyndebourne, travelling via Virginia Woolf's home, Monk's House Rodmell Sussex. We had seen a revival of Handel's Giulio Cesare and Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. We stopped for picnic lunch at a field not far from Monk's House and could see in the late summer light the River Ouse. Entering…

The New Paganism & Medicine (cat & mouse)

Paganism reduced to its essentials is the worship of idols. It is usually talked of as primitive religion. The concrete idol acts as intermediary between the mere human and the divine. These idols can be anything from naturally occurring items in the physical environment such as trees, rocks, the sun or moon or the items…

Language of health care

I have to say that my interest in words is elemental. I study words, enjoy them, and gaze at them as one would a sculpture. Indeed for me, a word is a sculpture. Imagine the word ‘obfuscate’, the ‘fus’ in it has all the attraction for me, of carrion for ravens, it is a basic…

Flashes of colour

Hibiscus is the motif of mood disorders. There are several variants. Rude red, white streaked with pink, light and dark purple, orange. Then bushes and hedges. Even trees. When I was a boy, our front garden had a red hibiscus hedge. The leaves had that glossy, luscious green colour that in the evening darkened into…

Bird of Paradise Lily

The fusion of the images of a bird and a lily is an example of how glorious language is, in depicting the world we live in. But, it is not the extraordinary and awesome power of language in this sense that I am after. Neither the mystery of metaphor nor how it is the basis…

Humean self

In A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume (1711-1776) said ‘When I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade…I never catch myself at anytime without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception. When my perceptions are…